The ICT service

Helplines April 2016

SIMS Spring Release - 7.168

For Primary and Secondary Schools

The SIMS Spring upgrade was applied to Centrally Hosted schools during the scheduled downtime on Saturday 9 April 2016 (having been released to locally hosted schools just before Easter). 

This upgrade included a number of new features as well as some software fixes including:
  • Updated AMPARK folder - Containing all the Wizards required for the 2016 End of Key Stage Statutory Returns (EYFS, Phonics, KS1 and KS2) and new resources for the Foundation Phase Baseline Assessment and Foundation Phase Outcomes.
  • Personnel - Improvements to the recording of allowances.  A new tick box to indicate when an employee is an apprentice.
  • Reporting - System Managers can now access SIMS Reports marked as private, enabling them to be deleted or to be reassigned to other users.
  • School Summer Census - Contains software necessary for generating the School Summer Census 2016.
  • Ability to hide the Home Language Field in Student Details - Accessed from Tools | Setups | School Options.

Full details of the changes included in this release can be found by accessing the ‘Documentation’ link at the top of the Home Page in SIMS and viewing the Latest Release Information.
 


Assessment Manager Updates with the Spring SIMS Upgrade

For Primary and Secondary Schools

The Spring SIMS upgrade brings in a large number of new assessment resources, from the End of Key Stage Wizards to new KS4 resources and Programmes of Study.
 
The first time the Assessment Co-ordinator accesses an Assessment menu route after the Spring upgrade a prompt will appear:

Screen Shot
 
We strongly encourage schools to take this opportunity to update resources in bulk, as updating resources individually and manually can be very time consuming. 
 
Ensure all the tick boxes are selected and click Yes please be warned, this update of resources can take some time.
 
If  the ‘remind me later’ option is clicked, the Import Assessment Manager Resources will be re-presented next time a user logs into SIMS and opens up an assessment menu route.


 

School Summer Census – Thursday 19 May 2016

For Primary and Secondary Schools

This is a reminder that the next School Census is coming up on Thursday 19 May 2016.
 
The software to run this was included in the Spring SIMS upgrade.  However, only a temporary validation file was included in the upgrade, as the DfE validation file was not available in time.
 
Validation Fileset 0301 is now available and must be imported in order to Validate the Census and view the Summary. 
 
Centrally Hosted schools can import this from their Manifest Files Folder in the usual way (Tools | Import Fileset)  - please see the Helpline Census Guidance notes that are available for download from the Portal Learn Together website along with details about how to import this file. 
 
The Validation File has been sent to locally hosted schools separately.
 
Please don’t wait until Census day to import the Validation File and run a dummy Census. 
 
Clear any errors and check the numbers on the Summary carefully.  Why not also upload the dummy Census? This ensures you should not get any unexpected additional errors when you upload the actual Census, as well as identifying issues the IMS team may need to address.
 
If you require any help at all with your Census preparations, The ICT Service Helpline Team are here to support you!  Call us on 0300 300 0000 or email support@theictservice.org.uk
 
You could also attend a workshop:
Preparing for School Census
Weds 4 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 

 

Arrangements for the End of Key Stage Statutory Returns 2016  

For Primary Schools

This year’s End of Key Stage Wizards have been made available with the Spring SIMS upgrade. 
 
Please don’t leave it until the deadline; import your EOKS Wizards and enter the data as soon as possible. This will allow time to resolve any issues that may be encountered.
 
Many schools encounter some issues with their EOKS returns – either with the Wizard, entering data, creating results CTFs, uploading results or generating reports.  The sooner the process is started the more time there is to get problems resolved before the deadlines.
 
Please note:
 
  • Throughout the instructions below XXXX will be your school’s DfE number and nnn is a number automatically generated by SIMS when the CTF is created.
  • All dates are closing dates and are taken from the latest DfE advice.  By working smart you can get ahead and submit early.
EYFS
 
  • Upload to S2S – Closing date: Friday 24 June 2016
  • Naming of CTF – 873XXXX_FSP_873LLLL_nnn
Year 1 + Year 2 Phonics Screening
 
  • Upload to S2S – Deadline to submit test results: Thursday 30 June 2016
  • Naming of CTF – 873XXXX_PHO_873LLLL_nnn
  • Include all Year 1 and those Year 2 pupils who have retaken the screening check
End of Key Stage One
 
  • Upload to S2S – Deadline to submit Teacher Assessment data: Thursday 30 June 2016
  • Naming of CTF – 873XXXX_KS1_873LLLL_nnn
End of Key Stage Two
 
  • Upload to the NCA Tools website – ncatools.education.gov.uk
  • Deadline to submit teacher assessment data: Thursday 30 June 2016
  • Naming of CTF – 873XXXX_KS2_873LLLL_nnn
Notes for recording End of Key Stage Assessments will be made available for download from the Portal Learn Together shortly (search for ‘EOKS’).
 
If you would like the opportunity to complete your return outside of the office environment with expert support on hand to answer your questions, why not consider booking onto one of our workshops?
 
  • Mon 9 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives
  • Thurs 12 May 2016, 10.00am - 12.30pm at Kingsfield Primary School, Chatteris
  • Mon 16 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives
  • Mon 20 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives
  • Thurs 23 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives
If you are responsible for completing and submitting the Early Years Statutory Return, please note that the workshop dates previously advertised have also been updated – Find out more
 
Places can fill up fast; please consider booking as early as possible.
 
Alternatively, consider a remote Telephone Consultancy – a 30 minute session from the comfort of your own desk that will take you through the process of completing the returns at a mutually convenient time. This Consultancy would suit experienced users who would like to be walked through the process for this year and have any new features highlighted to them. This session would cost just £40.
 
If you would like to book a Telephone Consultancy or if you have any questions regarding the End of Key Stage or Early Years Statutory Returns then get in touch by calling The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000 or by email to support@theictservice.org.uk 


 

Phonics Tests for Year 2 Pupils

For Primary Schools

Please check the Assessment records of any Year 2 pupils who were not at your school for their Year 1 Phonics Screening tests. 
 
If their Year 1 scores are missing these should be entered before the Screening takes place, as it is necessary to identify which Y2 pupils need testing. 
 
Scores can be obtained from the KeytoSuccess (KtS) area of the Secure Access website by entering the UPN number of the pupil concerned.
 
Please note: It is very important that you ensure the ‘Result Date’ is set to an appropriate date in Summer 2015 in the marksheet before entering the Year 1 2015 score.

 
 

Admissions Forms

For Primary and Secondary Schools

There is an Admission form format that schools may like to use to obtain data on Pre-Admission students before they arrive at the school.  The form is available for download from the Portal Learn Together website (search for ‘Admission Form’). 
 
The form collects all the information required for the SIMS student record, in a design that should be easy to understand for parents, while providing additional background information that schools require e.g. separated parents, service children etc.
You can even edit the form to suit your school’s particular needs.
 
There is a second version of this Admission form that can be used for obtaining dates of birth, NI numbers and asylum status information for student contacts; this can then be used to identify pupils who might attract Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) or Pupil Premium for the school. 
 
User defined fields can be added in contact details to allow this data to be recorded in SIMS, and SIMS reports then run to extract this information – guidance for this is available in the Admission Form PPI zip file available for download from the Portal Learn Together website (search 'Admission Form').


 

PRIDE Accounts

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Every school has a Prejudice-Related Incident Data Entry (PRIDE) account, which schools use to record any notifiable incidents online at pride.learntogether.org.uk.
 
All schools are required to submit a ‘Nil’ return at the end of each term, if they have not experienced any notifiable incidents.
 
Passwords expire every 90 days.  Unfortunately if the password has expired and you try to log on, it will not notify you that the password has expired; you will just be unable to log on.  If this happens, use OWA (Outlook Web App) at mail.cambsed.net to change the password. 
 
If you still experience issues, your Admin Tool Operator can reset the password to your school’s Pride account, which can be found in the Staff Folder in the Admin Tool. 
 
If you experience problems with this process you can contact The ICT service Helpline by calling 0300 300 0000 or by email to support@theictservice.org.uk 


 

School Admin Reference Guide

For Primary and Secondary Schools

The ICT Service Helpline Team have produced a School Admin Reference Guide or, as we call it, a guide to Who, What, Why, When and Where.
 
The guide is available for download from the Portal Learn Together website (search ‘Admin reference guide'). 
 
The guide is aimed at new school administrators, but a range of school staff may find it useful.  It has been written as a ‘one stop guide’ providing information including:
 
  • Explanations of what various groups do and the help that they offer schools.
  • Website addresses commonly needed by schools – helping you find information or places to upload/download data.
  • Contact information for groups providing services to schools.
  • A glossary of commonly used acronyms such as: CTF, IMS, B2B, KtS etc.
  • Statutory Data required from schools - when and what to do with it.
We aim to update the document termly and if there is anything that you think we have omitted, that other schools might find useful, please do let us know.
 
Any feedback on this document would be gratefully received.  Please email your comments to support@theictservice.org.uk
 

 

FMS Budget Input

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Dates are now set for the annual Budget Input Workshops.
 
Do consider coming along to join a group of your peers away from school.  You can use the opportunity to input your budget in peace and quiet. 
 
Just imagine - no phones ringing, no constant interruption.
 
Join us at The ICT Service Training Centre, St Ives on:
 
  • Weds 4 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.30pm
  • Thurs 12 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.30pm
  • Weds 18 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.30pm
  • Thurs 26 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.30pm
You can input your budget via remote access to a fully balanced status with expert assistance on hand.
 
If you didn’t get round to editing redundant structure on your system – the workshops will be an opportunity for you to get help with the new Hiding facility.
 
New for 2016
 
  • Edit FMS profiles to match the Budget Toolkit.
  • Set up Recurring Journals for all direct debits. 
  • Learn how to enter credit card payments via purchase orders and reconcile direct to the bank!
You will leave the workshop knowing your FMS is balanced with The Budget Toolkit
 
For finance staff who don’t want to take advantage of attending one of the workshops full guidance notes will be available to download from the Portal Learn Together website
 
A tip for you:  Remember, Budget Input is done at Cost Centre level and not Fund level.
 

 

Barclays 3 Day Payments

For Primary and Secondary Schools

You can now book to attend the Barclays 3 Day Payments Workshops to be held at The ICT Service Training Centre in St Ives.
  
  • Tues 17 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
  • Weds 18 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
  • Thurs 23 June 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
  • Thurs 30 June 2016, 1.30pm - 4.00pm
Now that Year End is out of the way, the roll-out of Barclays 3 Day Payments is starting again.
 
These workshops are designed for schools that want to make the move away from cheque payments. Their purpose is to demonstrate the benefits and encourage school finance staff to streamline and improve their current financial practices whilst complying with Cambridgeshire County Council Financial Regulations and Audit.
 
During the workshop course delegates will be setting up their own FMS modules to activate and configure the BACS setup for either Barclays.net or Lloyds Link. 
 
If you are interested in changing to electronic bank payments then you must in the first instance contact Education Finance. They manage the relevant access and permissions to get your school set up for 3 day payments with Barclays. They will arrange for you to be provided with a card, pin code and access rights.
 
There is a pre-requisite form to complete before course bookings are confirmed; these must be completed to safeguard all parties.
 
It is important that you have read the Preparing Your Systems for 3 Day Payments short guide and that you have started to set up some of your regularly used suppliers, such as ESPO.
 
As part of the course you will be able to make your first BACS file upload onto the bank website.  Many users of FMS are put off by the apparent complexity.  In this workshop you will be enlightened.
 
During the session you will be supplied with a reconditioned and serviced Smartcard Reader-enabled keyboard to take away and use (meaning you can plug your Barclaycard directly into the keyboard whilst in Central Hosting).


 

Impulse Conferences 

For Primary Schools

This year’s Impulse Conferences will be held on:
  
  • Tuesday 7 June 2016, 1.30 – 4.00pm at CPDC. Cambridge 
  • Tuesday 14 June 2016, 1.30 – 4.00pm at South Fens Business Centre, Chatteris
The conferences are a great CPD opportunity for Headteachers and Senior Leaders to hear about making use of all the data at your disposal, how to turn it into useful management information for school improvement, and to network with your peers.  As always we will have presentations from schools sharing their own journeys and good practice.
 
Save the date, full agenda coming soon but book your place online now.
 
Schools that take one of our Annual Support Packages are entitled to 2 free places.

 
 

Levels and Next Year's Timetable

For Secondary Schools

An important reminder for all Timetablers.
 
Please make sure all courses that have been set up in Nova T6 are correctly linked to the course levels within Nova T6 before the first transfer of the timetable into SIMS. 
 
If levels have not been linked correctly, it will cause major issues with the Post 16 data in the Autumn School Census for those schools with Sixth Forms.  It is essential that Post 16 data collected as a part of this Census is correct, as it is used for calculating funding that schools receive.
 
Not assigning levels to courses can also impact schools without Sixth Forms, as it can cause difficulties in Assessment Manager with respect to finding the classes to add to templates.
 
If you require any assistance, please contact The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000 or by email to support@theictservice.org.uk
 
 
 

FMS Roadshow - Thursday 19 May at Hemingford Abbots

For Primary and Secondary Schools

A reminder that the date of the next FMS Roadshow is Thursday 19 May 2016, 1.30 – 3.30pm at Hemingford Abbots Village Hall.   You can book online now.
 
This networking event is a useful opportunity for School Bursars and Finance Secretaries to get out of the office and meet colleagues from other schools.
 
In light of the Chancellor's 2016 Budget plans to turn all schools into Academies, we have created a new agenda to really help delegates understand the impact on how finance in a new Academy or chain will operate.
 
Agenda items include:
 
  • Mop-up of Year End and the Most Common Pitfalls
  • Barclays 3 Day Payments
  • Budget Input and Recurring Journals
  • Debit Card Payments - Commitment and Complying with the Financial Regulations
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Guest Speaker: Mandie Kirk – Capita Product Manager
  • Guests: Primary Academy Finance Officers – a Q & A Session
  • Parental Engagement
  • Payroll Control and the Audit Team's Findings!
  • The Future.
Delegate places are just £35
 
Feel free to share your questions or talk with our FMS Consultant and Trainer, Kath Ryans, prior to the FMS Roadshow - simply email support@theictservice.org.uk or ask for Kath when you call  us on 0300 300 0000.
 

 

AGORA Special Offer

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Any school looking towards moving to an Online payments system, please note that Capita are currently offering a 10% discount.
 
AGORA is the only online payments system that links directly with SIMS and FMS. 
 
If schools would like to take advantage and find out more via a webinar, then please register your interest by calling The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000 or by email support@theictservice.org.uk
 

 

Year End in SIMS

For Primary Schools

Notes to guide you through the Year End process in SIMS have been uploaded to the Portal Learn Together website (search – Year End)


 

New Look WebCat

For Primary Schools

CCS (Cambridgeshire Catering Services) released a new version of WebCat to schools last week.  
 
The ICT Service has been made aware that this application has been experiencing some teething problems. 
 
It is now possible to add electronic CAT forms from Dinner Money.  However, please be aware that it is not possible to manually edit this CAT Form at the moment.  This means that adult meals and notes cannot be recorded. 
 
Schools that do not use Dinner Money are currently unable to make a return manually.  CCS are hopeful that this will be resolved within the next couple of weeks.  A note will be posted on the WebCat home page when this issue is resolved. 
 
Please contact CCS if you have further questions.  Contact details can be found here.

 
 

Monthly Tasks and Documents Available - Primary, Nursery and Special Schools

For Primary Schools

  • Import EOKS Wizards (update assessment resources).
  • Import Census Validation Fileset 0301.
  • Run a dummy Census.
  • Consider training/workshop for EOKS.
  • Download the School Admin Reference Guide.
  • Input Budget.
  • Book places on Impulse Conference.
Documents recently uploaded to the Portal Learn Together with key search word highlighted in red.
  
  • Budget Input and Creating New Structure within FMS 2016 - Finance Structure
  • Importing the ESPO catalogue into FMS - ESPO
  • Helpline SIMS Year End Procedures 2016 - Year End
  • School Admin Reference Guide V1 - Admin Staff
  • EYFS Latest Updates and End of Key Stage for Helpline March 2016 - Early Years
  • School Summer Census 2016 - Helpline Notes - School Census
  • School Census COLLECT Guide for Maintained Schools 2016 - School Census
  • School Census COLLECT Guide for Academies 2016 - School Census
  • School Census - Editing Data within COLLECT Guide 2015 - School Census
  • School Census 2016 Errors and Resolutions v7.168 - School Census
  • DfE School Census Guidance 2015-2016 v2.5 - School Census
  • FMS Preparing Your System for Barclays Three Day Payments and Lloyds Link online - BACS
  • FMS Financial Year End 2015 - Year End
  • How to upload the latest Census Validation Fileset into SIMS - School Census 


 

Monthly Tasks and Documents Available - Secondary Schools

For Secondary Schools

  • Update Assessment Resources.
  • Assign Course Levels in Nova T6.
  • Import Census Validation Fileset 0301.
  • Run a dummy Census.
  • Download the School Admin Reference Guide.
Documents recently uploaded to the Portal Learn Together with key search word highlighted in red.
  
  • Budget Input and Creating New Structure within FMS 2016 - Finance Structure
  • Importing the ESPO catalogue into FMS - ESPO Catalogue
  • School Admin Reference Guide V1 - Admin Staff
  • SIMS Using the Assessment Mapping Tool - Secondary Schools - Assessment
  • SIMS Guide to importing and analysing exam results 2016 - Examinations
  • School Summer Census 2016 - Helpline Notes - School Census
  • School Census COLLECT Guide for Academies 2016 - School Census
  • School Census - Editing Data within COLLECT Guide 2015 - School Census
  • School Census 2016 Errors and Resolutions v7.168 - School Census
  • DfE School Census Guidance 2015-2016 v2.5 - School Census
  • SIMS Starting Next Years Curriculum Early 2016 -Timetable
  • Preparing for 2016 17 using Nova T6 and Options to prepare the timetable -Timetable
  • Preparing for OfSTED - OfSTED
  • FMS Preparing Your System for Barclays Three Day Payments and Lloyds Link online - BACS
  • FMS Financial Year End 2015 - Year End
  • How to upload the latest Census Validation Fileset into SIMS - School Census 


 

Key Dates and Training Coming Up Soon

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Ensure you receive our latest Training dates by signing up to receive our regular newsletters. Visit The ICT Service Website and sign up with your own email address.
 

SIMS Courses

SIMS Refresher
Tues 3 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
 
Managing SEND
Tues 3 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
Preparing for School Census
Weds 4 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
Achievement & Behaviour Management
Thurs 5 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Weds 29 June 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
 
Cambridgeshire Solution for Assessment
Fri 6 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Weds 6 July 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
SIMS Basic Reporting
Mon 9 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Tues 21 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
End of Key Stage Data Made Easy
Mon 9 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm 
Thurs 12 May 2016, 10.00am - 12.30pm 
Mon 16 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm 
Mon 20 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Thurs 23 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
EYFS in SIMS - Preparing for the Statutory Return
Weds 11 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Fri 13 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Fri 13 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Weds 18 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Fri 17 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
SIMS Advanced Reporting
Mon 6 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
Tidy Up - a Course for Administrators
Tues 17 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Fri 17 June 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
 
Using InTouch for Messaging and Parental Engagement
Tues 21 June 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
 
SIMS for New Users
Session 1: Tues 28 June 2016. 1.30 - 4.00pm
Session 2: Tues 12 July 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
N.B. This course takes place over 2 half-day sessions
 
Account Administration Tool Intro/Refresher and Education Portal Accounts Training
Tues 5 July 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm

 

Networking Opportunities

The FMS Roadshow
Thurs 19 May 2016, 1.30 - 3.30pm
at Hemingford Abbots Village Hall, Hemingford
 
The Impulse Conferences
Tues 7 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
at CPDC in Cambridge
Tues 14 June 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
at South Fens Business Centre, Chatteris
 
The Admin Roadshows
Weds 8 June 2016, 1.30 - 3.30pm
at Hemingford Abbots Village Hall, Hemingford
Weds 15 June 2016, 1.30 - 3.30pm
at Meadows Community Centre, Cambridge
 
 

Finance Courses

FMS Budget Input Workshops
Weds 4 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Thurs 12 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.30pm
Weds 18 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Thurs 26 May 2016, 1.30pm - 4.30pm
 
Making FMS Reports Understandable
Thurs 28 April 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
 
FMS for New Users
Day 1:  Thurs 5 May 2016, 9.15am - 12.30pm
Day 2: Thurs 19 May 2016, 9.15am - 12.30pm
Day 3: Tues 7 June 2016, 9.15am - 12.30pm
Day 4: Tues 28 June 2016, 9.15am - 12.30pm
 
Paperless Finance Office PLUS 3 Day Payments set up Workshop
Tues 10 May 2016, 9.15am - 1.00pm
Weds 25 May 2016, 9.15am - 1.00pm
Weds 8 June 2016, 9.15am - 1.00pm
Weds 22 June 2016, 9.15am - 1.00pm
 
Barclays 3 Day Payments Workshop - Reporting & Beyond
Tues 17 May 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Weds 18 May 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Thurs 23 June 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Thurs 30 June 2016, 1.30pm - 4.00pm
 
Click on a course title to view the full course programme, prices and to book all your delegate places online!

Contact the ICT Service

Helpline | 0300 300 0000 (then press 3) | support@theictservice.org.uk
Training | 0300 300 0000 (then press 2) | courses@theictservice.org.uk

 

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